Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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July 2012
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Lost Stuff #1 - Star Trek III Radio Spots

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 10:08 pm

I’ve been spending some “quality time” cleaning up some of the decades-old crap in the basement lately, and have been finding strange, weird, and bizarre stuff I didn’t even remember I had. Truth is, I have media of every stripe (16mm and 8mm film, umatic, beta and VHS video tapes, reels, cassettes, 8-tracks, CDs, DVDs, heck, even 8″ floppy discs), and some of them I still have the ability to play. Since I shouldn’t be the only one shocked and amazed by this stuff, I’m going to post some of my finds here.

In this first installment, two radio commercials (”spots”) for the film, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. I found this reel in a large box of 5″ reels buried under some other boxes of 7″ reels…there were a bunch of movie commercial reels (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Flashdance, Staying Alive to name a few), and maybe I’ll play more later. But I should probably explain a bit about how commercials were delivered in the days before digital voice tracking.

The studios through their publicity departments would buy spots on local stations and then provide the commercials on 1/2-track 1/4″ reel tape. The commercial would then be copied onto a “cart” (short for cartridge) which worked like an 8-track - the continuous-looped tape would come out of the center of the single reel, cross the heads for record/playback, and then wind on the outside, slowly working its way back to the center for the next play. The DJ, who was actually in the local station’s studio and not voice-tracking from the other side of the country in those days, would load the cart into a machine which would, when he hit the button, play back the commercial and at the end re-cue the commercial for its next play.

Barbaric by today’s standards, I know, but if you knew where the phrase, “cutting tape” for editing came from, you’d probably swoon.

Anyway, here are two commercials for the film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, directed by Leonard Nimoy and featuring the voices of William Shatner and George Takei. There’s one player for both files, just hit the “Play Now” link to switch files in the player. Sorta like removing one cart and sticking in another…

icon for podpress  Star Trek III Radio Spot 1 [0:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Star Trek III Radio Spot 2 [0:31m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Can Skype ‘wiretap’ video calls?

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:39 pm

From CNN: Can Skype ‘wiretap’ video calls?

From the article: “The video calling service Skype recently made a change to how it routes calls. Hackers and bloggers are saying the changes, which push some of the video calling process onto Skype’s own computers instead of onto random machines on the Internet, could help the app spy on users’ calls, presumably at the request of a court or government.”

Google, Apple, Microsoft…everyone wants your data. Tough trying to keep it from ‘em…

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Florida lifeguard fired after saving drowning man

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 2:52 pm

From CNN: Florida lifeguard fired after saving drowning man

This is why I despise binary, “Zero-tolerance” systems. Each situation is different, and one size NEVER fits all.

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